Lately, I’ve been craving granola. I don’t have granola often – a. because it’s one of those foods that when I buy it, it’s hard to stay away from, and b. because it’s one of those foods that when I buy it, it’s hard to stay away from. Okay, and I guess for some reason I just haven’t been wanting granola – cereal’s been doing just fine by me. And my mish-mash bag of granola bars that I crumble up and use as granola. Hey, I need a piece of every flavor, you know! Regardless, when I was in the store today I decided to pick some up. There was a whole bunch to chose from, but of course I was narrowed to the natural selection – I’m not sold on all the sugary nutritional stats of all the other stuff. Eventually I was torn between Bare Naked and Ezekiel. I went for the Ezekiel 4:9 – the flax one, to be exact. I thought it was granola, at least. Turns out it’s more like some strange oatmeal-cereal sort of grain combo. I’m not going to lie: I know I’m a health food junkie, and typically enjoy health foods – but I was not impressed. I almost chucked it then and there, but maybe I’ll try it in one of my morning oat combos sometime…uh…soon. ish. Hey, it’s at least good for me. Of course – I’m also not of the belief that healthy food needs to taste like, well…cardboard, if I’m being brutally honest. I’ll give you another chance Ezekiel…but this is strike 1.
This is getting long-winded: long story short, when I get a food thought in my head, it’s hard for me to shake it. That and, I needed to find something to use that Ezekiel cereal in. So I was going to make granola. I’ve never made granola before, so I thought it best to find a recipe. I would use this recipe from Hodgson Mill! Hah…right. I intended to. Here’s what I did, instead. This being my first excursion in granola-making and my decision to change just about everything, I’m just going to type it out exactly as I did it, and then make note of what I’d do next time. Granted, it ended up quite good as is, but there is always room for improvement!
-1/4 c. rolled oats
-1/4 c. rolled spelt flakes
-2 T. (1/8 c.) Ezekiel 4:9 cereal-granola-stuff
-2 T. (1/8 c.) rolled barley flakes
-1 t. each: wheat germ and milled flax
-2 T. shredded coconut
-2 T. chopped macadamia nuts
-2 T. chopped almonds
-1/2 t. almond extract
-1/2 T. pumpkin puree
-1/2 T. applesauce
-1 T. honey
-1/2 t. McCormick Chai Blend Seasoning
-1/8 t. cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 350* and combine your dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Add to the dry ingredients your wet:
Spread the mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for approx 15-20 minutes or until golden, stirring every five minutes.
Once cooled – store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
-Obviously, you can use whatever grains you have on hand. I have a lot on hand. I wanted to play the grain game. heh…
-I would double the amount of coconut next time – I only used 2 T. because that killed the bag and forgot I had two more bags in the cupboard.
-The pumpkin and applesauce idea came from a couple other granola recipes I’d seen. It’s a good way to cut down on the sugar if you are worried about it. It doesn’t give it a strong pumpkin or applesauce flavor, but I was worried if I used 2 T. of honey, it would be too sweet for me. I think as I made it, it is just the right amount of sweetness for me.
-I would also up the amount of the chai spice blend. I wasn’t sure how much I should use – and erred on the side of caution. It’s a pretty strong spice, so I’d rather start small 😛
-At first I thought I burnt it – but I think it’s just right! So one thing to keep in mind while you’re baking, haha.
-Now that I’ve made granola once, I might have a problem with experimenting with new flavors way too often.